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"He's putting the hair away now."
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April 25 2006

Thousands of Film Goers Seek Gender Equality. "In June this year, film goers plan worldwide theatrical screenings of the Universal Pictures flick 'Serenity', with proceeds going to Equality Now. The move is a direct effort to help raise funds for Equality Now, one of writer/director Joss Whedon's favorite charities."

Good publicity for 2 good causes (Serenity-viewing and Equality Now-funding)! Yay us! :-)
Crazy, we have a press release and everything. Oddly, I noticed that the whedonverse donate-copies-to-libraries also has a press release today. It must be in the air.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-04-25 17:58 ]
By writing this press release, does it mean I've sold out? Do I have to have Angel season 5 helmet hair now? All these questions, and more, will be answered after the break...
Of course, now all of you who have your STELLAR MEDIA CONNECTIONS have something to forward to them.

On edit: Oh, hey, we made Wil Wheaton.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-04-25 18:16 ]
Oddly, I noticed that the whedonverse donate-copies-to-libraries also has a press release today. It must be in the air.

Yeah, would be nice if it had its own headline on Whedonesque too. *hint* *hint* Although, I can't think of anyone else we'd like to share the spotlight with than those intrepid Browncoats with their wonderful Serenity screenings for Equality Now. Kudos! ;)
Nice press release. Very well done.
Anyone interested in going to the Toronto charity screening of Toronto, might want to check out this Yahoo group and let them know that you are interested (they have a poll set up to track numbers) to help give them an idea of how many people want to go.

Or if you are in another city, check out what links are available on CantStopTheSerenity.com as some of the organizers seem to be trying to work out what kind of interest is in their area, in order to figure out how big of a theatre is needed.
In terms of Wil Wheaton, someone on the Montreal Browncoats message board(Marie-Josée, thank you!), notified me that Wil Wheaton is coming to Montreal, so I sent him an email asking him if he wanted to join us for our screening, and I gave him information about the Cant Stop the Serenity Campaign. I didnt get a response, but the fact he posted on his blog is a good sign.

[ edited by kurya on 2006-04-25 18:56 ]
All I can say is happy birthday El Hombre :)
Looks like Wil Wheaton has the dates a little confused. Since the Montreal screening is on the 22nd, the date does conflict with the book event he's planning. Hopefully, the time does not conflict.
ETA: oh, he updated.

[ edited by jam2 on 2006-04-25 19:47 ]
Thanks Matt_Fabb. Can always use the publicity! We're getting the numbers, now we just need the theatre.And the print!
I can say this press release caused 20546 journalists to call. No, wait - nobody did :o)
FWIW, at some point this week I'll be finishing up an mp3 promo for this effort. Those who have podcasts will be encouraged to use it, others will be encouraged to suggest it to the creators of any reasonably-relevant podcasts they know.
Silly gossi. If you want the press to phone you, you need to post your own photo on the webpage. Dancing provocatively, if possible. Nude, if necessary. It's not for me, dude, it's for Equality Now. I'm just sayin'. ;-)
Most journalists won't respond to a mass press release like this one, gossi. They get dozens a day, often even more. The day when a press release alone could generate significant press interest is long gone.

I wonder if any pre-pitching had been done to reporters and writers at likely papers, radio stations, Web sites, etc. Seems to this media relations consultant that this is the kind of story that could get some nice coverage if proper research has been done.

Just as an example, I bet a radio program I sometimes hear in the car on Saturday in the DC area, "Satellite Sisters", would find this an interesting discussion topic. National Public Radio is a good idea, too. And the Style section of the Washington Post (and its equivalent in just about every major daily) runs articles about things like this all the time. And then there are all the women's magazines, which are natural targets for a story like this.

Heck, I can even see this as a short feature on Good Morning America or the Today Show.

I hope it gets the coverage it deserves.
Most journalists won't respond to a mass press release like this one, gossi. They get dozens a day, often even more. The day when a press release alone could generate significant press interest is long gone.

I wonder if any pre-pitching had been done to reporters and writers at likely papers, radio stations, Web sites, etc. Seems to this media relations consultant that this is the kind of story that could get some nice coverage if proper research has been done.


I do some work with local professional theatre here in Edmonton, and we use press releases all the time. And no, a single press release is not enough. The usual routine for my theatre company is:

Monday (two weeks prior to press event): Fax out PR, post on website.
Tuesday: Call all the people on the PR fax list. Confirm it was received. Re-fax PR to all media outlets that "did not receive" the PR.
Wednesday: Do something else.
Thursday: Recall people that you re-faxed. Re-fax to those media outlets with a fax machine set on "eat incoming fax".
Friday: Drink. A lot. Prepare yourself spriritually for Monday.
Next Monday: Call all media outlets, confirm attendance at next Tuesday's press event. They will lie, but be pleasant. Re-fax to the outlets that have been struck down with amnesia, or whose intern ate your fax.
Thursday: Call all media outlets again, and reconfirm for the next Tuesday's press event. They will still lie, but remain pleasant. We still need them.
Third Monday: That's right, you guessed it: Call all media outlets and confirm attendance. They will continue to lie, but again, be pleasant. You really do need them.
Tuesday: At the press event, greet the three media outlets that actually come as long lost friends. Sublimate anger against the remaining 27 outlets that lied to you, and vow never to contact them. Drink a lot. Get faxes ready for the next event, to be sent to the exact same PR list you just used. Because you still need them.

That's pretty much it. If you want media attention, you have to fight all the other groups for it. I've found that having an open bar at the press launch increases attendance, but isn't always a guarentee. :) See you in the world!
Mimbles and I are organising one in Sydney, Oz. So any OzCoats, reading this must come.
We'll have more details in about a week.
I've found that having an open bar at the press launch increases attendance, but isn't always a guarentee.

Heh, of course, there isn't a "press launch" for this, since it's a distributed set of 20+ events in different cities, countries, and continents.
It's too early, Gossi. Keep 'em coming, but don't expect anyone to print anything until a couple of weeks before the actual event (when you send a fresh one, of course).

Would you happen to have heard from anyone in Germany who might be planning a screening? Not that I have the time for this, plus I'll be in Scotland for a week in early June, but I have this dream of seeing SERENITY again on the big screen in the original version ...
bschnell, unless the organization is actively pitching this to reporters, calling them, offering people for interviews, etc, expect nothing. There's no way a reporter would get this release and, with no prodding, put it in a futures file and then actually act on it near the date.

Getting what's called earned media is a lot of work, and a blast email news release is not going to get it done. A carefully thought out plan and diligent execution are required, and even then, that's no guarantee.
There's no way a reporter would get this release and, with no prodding, put it in a futures file and then actually act on it near the date.

Buh. About 10,000 people picked it up on PRweb's feed before it went on Whedonesque, but none of them chose to run it.
Ifilm just ran it.
I've used PRweb a number of times and some of my releases got picked up by the media and some did not. It helps if you have something really interesting to say, which the Serenity Now/Equality Now press release certainly accomplishes. In the case of the Whedonverse Multimedia Project - this time around it was just to try to draw some attention from the online fandom and remind them that we exist. So getting a press release on Google and other news search services was all I really wanted to accomplish. For press releases where I really want some attention, I have to come up with a good hook for the article and do some leg work as well. That entails sending the release directly to a targeted list of journalists, following up to make sure they got them, and letting them know I'm available should they require any additional information. Gossi, in my opinion, wrote up a great press release that is bound to get some attention from online journalists and bloggers without much if any additional effort required on his part. Besides, there are several online media outlets that will pick up news that's posted here on Whedonesque. For me, just getting my release posted here is a huge help toward getting the story picked up by other outlets.
Gossi, I believe you made my point.
killinj: So getting a press release on Google and other news search services was all I really wanted to accomplish.

Fair enough, if that's all you wanted to do. My point was simply that to get significant coverage (which I think this series of events could merit), much more than just issuing a release is needed, which you clearly get.
Absolutely Chris inVirginia to get significant coverage you have to do ALOT more work than issuing a press release. I have a feeling that for the Serenity Now/Equality Now campaign, this is just the beginning.

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